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Watch the recording of this event HERE.

Roundtable featuring
Matthew R. Wilson
Director (SDC), Actor (AEA, SAG-AFTRA), and Fight Director (SAFD, SDC), as well as a scholar and playwright
Ori Z. Soltes
Teaching Professor at Center for Jewish Civilization, Georgetown University, Washington D.C.
Tricia Manuel / “Pricilla Mooseburger” the Clown
Tricia Manuel is the unmistakable Pricilla Mooseburger!
Moderated by
Elizabeth Berkowitz
Art Historian and Digital Interpretation Manager, The Fritz Ascher Society in New York

How do we define “the clown,” historically, in art, and today, in practice? What is the appeal of the clown in performance, and how has the clown subject impacted popular culture? This roundtable pools the expertise from a diversity of fields to place Fritz Ascher’s interest in “the clown” in the context of historical and contemporary performance and imagery.

Part of “Send in the Clowns,” an interactive two-week digital initiative, which explores the clown as a figure between tragedy and comedy, between self- identification and stage–a character designed to (literally) mask the performer’s true feelings behind a facade of happiness. “Send in the Clowns” uses the prominence of the “clown” figure in Fritz Ascher’s work as a lens through which to explore the duality of the clown both historically and today.

Generously sponsored by Allianz Partners.

Matthew R. Wilson teaches at The George Washington University’s Corcoran School of the Arts & Design and serves as Director of Graduate Studies for its Academy for Classical Acting in partnership with The Shakespeare Theatre Company. Dr. Wilson previously served as the International Coordinator of SAT’s worldwide Commedia dell’Arte Day and as Chair of Movement & Physical Theatre for the Southeastern Theatre Conference. He has studied, taught, and performed Commedia across Europe and North America including six years teaching at Antonio Fava’s Stage Internazionale di Commedia dell’Arte in Reggio-Emilia, Italy. Wilson earned a Helen Hayes Award as founder and former Artistic Director of DC’s Faction of Fools Theatre and has toured the world with The Great One-Man Commedia Epic since 2004. Selected publications include chapters in The Routledge Companion to Commedia dell’Arte (Routledge 2015), the play A Commedia Christmas Carol (Playscripts 2013). Visit www.matthewrwilson.com for more information.

Ori Z. Soltes teaches at Georgetown University across a range of disciplines. He is former Director the B’nai B’rith Klutznick National Jewish Museum. In that capacity he has curated over 80 exhibitions domestically and internationally. Soltes has authored or edited 24 books and scores of articles and exhibition catalogue essays including Our Sacred Signs: How Jewish, Christian and Muslim Art Draw from the Same Source; Mysticism in Judaism; Tradition and Transformation: Three Millennia of Jewish art and Architecture; and Magic and Religion in the Greco-Roman World: The Beginnings of Judaism and Christianity.

Pricilla Mooseburger got her start clowning with Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey in 1982. She is the owner of Pricilla Mooseburger Originals supplying high quality clown costumes and make-up for over 25 years. She is the founder of Mooseburger Clown Arts Camp and received the prestigious Lifetime Achievement award from the Midwest Clown Assoc. and Clowns of America International. Sher was honored with the Lifetime of Laughter award from the International Clown Hall of Fame for her contribution to clown arts education and 24 years of Mooseburger Clown Arts Camp. She launched a new virtual program The Joyful Journey bring together clowns from all over the world! Her e-newsletter Mooseburger Newz is followed by thousands providing free clown arts education.

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